Print Story Some minor points.
By nightflameblue (Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 08:45:15 AM EST) (all tags)

Several months ago we got a visit from the US Census Bureau. We were the lucky winners on the random choice "teach your government about the population" merry-go-round. We gladly invited the older lady with the beat up craptop into our home and answered her questions, and continued to answer her questions each month when she called us for updates.

Then this Sunday. . .

Point 1

We got a call from a trainee for the US Census Bureau. She said she was a trainee right up front, and there's nothing wrong with that. But, see, it was pretty obvious that english was not her first, possibly not her second, and likely not her third language, but fell somewhere down the line from there. What I'm saying is, and this is a stereotype, we got the Indian (from India, not Native American) branch of the US Census Bureau.

Words were difficult for her. Something like "individual" became "invidaliv" to her. It was very difficult to figure out what she was saying. I'm always left with a big question mark above my head when I speak with a person that has been given a job where they primarily speak on the phone, and they are obviously struggling with the language.

However, the problem I had throughout this phone call was the thought that, our government knows we're in a financial crunch. Our government is preaching to find ways to keep our money at home. And our government, as a function of its own efficiency, has hired out a branch of itself to a foreign land to collect data from its own citizens.

There's something very, very wrong with this picture. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out what that is, because I'm tired of trying to make sense of it.

Point 2

So, not only do I give up Saturday, but now I give up three work days. That's fine, it's work days and I'm actually being paid for them. However, three days of training for the entire IT department on something that one of us, at most, will ever use, meanwhile the company sits on helpdesk issues just because, seems a little odd.

But hey, to make up for it the boss bought us all lunch. Except we had to eat that lunch with the same group we've been locked in a tiny little conference room with all morning. OK, you pay the price you have to pay and move on.

That's still not getting any of the work done that I was told would be done based on our extremely wonderful scheduling, which said I had five days of work this week, when I only actually have two.

We'll let the boss discover that on his own when I'm gone next week.

Point 3

I'm totally gonna be pounding metal too fucking hard on next Tuesday. Disturbed, in Brookings. Third times a charm? Here's to hoping I'm too stiff to move by the time the family arrives Thursday. Rawk.

Point 4

Considering a switch at the work front, I've begun putting a lot of time into testing a server loaded with FreeBSD. That's something we haven't used here in a few years, but the default Linux loads I've tested lately have been bloatware, crapware, run-everything shit boxes by default and you have to fight your way through trimming it down into a manageable server load. FreeBSD seems to be a little more "toss what's needed on and build up" based. I, so far, have been able to deal with the few differences I've stumbled across, and having had a background in the BSDs over the years has helped a bit with that.

The boss seems mildly excited by the prospects. Especially that new server box I tossed him specs and prices on that would cost about half of what the same box would cost from his preferred vendor. Shopping around can be amazingly freeing when you don't have your head rammed firmly up an existing vendor's backside.

Point . . .um, I lost track

Zippy's still dropping more balls than we even knew existed, but at least the boss is hearing about it now.

He hasn't acknowledged it again, but at least we're keeping it in his sight so that the day we snap and kill the little bastard he has some background to dredge up from his rusty memory banks.

Well, back to training.

< Attn: LHuSiBeer infidels! | I realize I can't be prefect... >
Some minor points. | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Freebsd has a better mascot than Linux by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #1 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 09:10:18 AM EST
I recommend lots of devil shirts.

FreeBSD has better users too by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 10:30:58 AM EST
Evidence Here.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Life is Short, Fly Fast!

[ Parent ]
Her name was ceren, she was a mascot by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 10:37:33 AM EST

[ Parent ]
PedaNT by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:02:49 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Point 1 by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 09:30:27 AM EST
An Indian with a heavy accent is not necessarily in India. I've worked with a few that were hard to understand on the phone (although they were much better in person).

But  you should ask whether they're here or there and refuse to cooperate if they're offshore for something confidential like the census. Offshore companies are not subject to the same privacy laws as US-based ones are and if they breach the confidentiality agreement (not law), there's no recourse. That agreement is between the offshore company and the US company that hired them, you are not party to it.

The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
Did she by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 09:35:33 AM EST
ask for your name, SSN, birth date and credit card number for verification ?

Ixnay on the iving-gay by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 2) #7 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:40:11 AM EST

away-ay of my "Ensus-Cay Ureau-Bay Personation-Immay" am-scay, already, dude.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
I'm not that dumb. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:08:31 PM EST
The usual confirmation questions. Address, name. That's really all the Census Bureau has ever asked on follow ups.

[ Parent ]
Hated FreeBSD by debacle (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:56:32 PM EST
Until I learned how to actually use Linux/Unix. Now, I love it.


I heart BSD by LinDze (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:18:35 PM EST
I loved it, but we'll never run here as it would be a fourth OS to support when we're truing to Axe off the third already.

As for vendors, I hear you. Our latest batch of servers had a 20% fail rate on the hard drives. Noone seemed to think this was a bit odd...

-Lin Dze
Arbeit Macht Frei

Vendors. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 02:39:18 AM EST
We bought a set of laptops for the "preferred vendor" as a test to see if they were worth switching to as we had been purchasing laptops via another vendor. The test laptops locked up constantly, dropped wireless connection about five times a day, usually at a critical moment, and started spontaneously rebooting about two weeks after purchase. When we needed more laptops, guess which company the boss decided we should buy them from?

If you guessed the ones we'd never had any problems with, you'd be wrong.

FreeBSD will be a pretty straight switch here. All the old Linux boxes will slowly have services transfered to the new single FreeBSD box as they are taken offline. WOO consolidation. No more "NFS->NFS->SAMBA->NFS" bullshit. We've been needing to do this for a long, long time.

[ Parent ]
I suggest staying with preferred vendor... by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 02:01:50 AM EST
...and isolating the hardware that actually manages to pinpoint critical moments. Could be worth a lot of money. Of course I recommend implementing better software support than just locking up. There are possibilities here :-)

-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Some minor points. | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback